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  #1  
Old 10-18-2013, 01:36 PM
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Question On-Board Air...On a Budget?

So, I've got some pretty kick-*** Hadleys that I'd like to put under the hood of my truck which got me looking into Air Compressors.

Hadley makes one specifically for their air horns, but I started to wonder if I could buy something bigger and have functional air for inflating tires and maybe even running small tools.

This got me looking at something like this...

Kobalt 1.5HP 3-Gallon Air Compressor

I've already got a Cobra Highway Gear 2,000 watt power inverter. I figured I could mount the air compressor and the inverter in my tool box and drill through the box for an air intake vent and quick-connect fitting.

According to Lowe's website, the compressor draws 12 amps which works out to a 1320 watt requirement at 110vac. That makes the 2000 watt inverter more than adequate for the job.

My question, is whether it would be ok to run the inverter off of the vehicle batteries (I have two), or have a couple isolated batteries in the tool box with a charge line ran to them from the trailer wiring.

Obviously, I'm doing this on a budget and would prefer to use the vehicle batteries to save money. I've looked at the Viair systems and they're pretty proud of those things!

I would relay-control the power for the inverter through the appropriate auxiliary switch in the cab to avoid un-desired drain on the vehicle's batteries. I would probably also only run the compressor when the engine is running.

Does anyone use a set-up similar to this and how well does it work? I could see myself spending around $200 on this and installing it myself.

Thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:18 PM
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You already have what you need you may as well use it. Not sure on this but if you're hooked up to the trailer charge can't it run your batteries dead? If so, you could charge it using a 12v solenoid that switches to "charge" when the compressor is off then disconnects once it's turned on. That would require another battery tho. I'd look into the trailer charge wiring running your batteries dead first.

I have fabbed a killer bracket to mount dual Viair compressors under my bed in place of the spare with a 5gal tank. Horns will be next
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:08 PM
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The charge line on my truck only puts out power when the engine is running. I know this because whenever I've had to use the lights inside my trailer, they didn't work unless I started the truck...or at least have the key in the On position.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:11 PM
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Check amazon for electric viairs. I just bought a 480c system shipped for a little over 300. WAY cheaper then any place else! Granted it was considered "used" but it was just a ripped box. I'm getting everything else from my local semi repair place and again WAY cheaper then anywhere online! 8 gal tank for $45 compared to 5 gal tank online for $100+!

Just do some research before you hook it all up and plan it out well and you'll get away pretty cheap!

My plan is to use welding cable 50 cents/ft instead of "auto" cable $1.50/ft and a remote power block.

Benefit of something like this is you don't loose any space. When it's tucked up between the frame and bode you don't loose any tool box space which for me is a must! And you get to set it your way, solenoids, manifolds, remote connections, in dash controls and gauges... Whatever you want! And you won't have to worry about supplying an inverter to run it and possibly having amperage issues.

I'm still waiting for the semi shop to get the parts in but once they do I'll have a post up of the install and a you tube video. Possibly a month out, hopefully sooner!
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:52 PM
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:34 AM
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P-rot, you're going to have a pretty awesome system. Sounds like you'll be into it for over $350. That's what I'm trying to avoid. Love the idea of using welding cable instead of automotive for the savings though. I'll definitely be using that!

The only thing I'd have to buy with my set up is the Air Compressor and the wire.

How good are the Air Compressors for Air Brakes like from a school bus or something like that? I think those are mechanically driven by the engine, but I could swap in a DC electric motor on a pressure cut-on/cut-off switch.

That's also something I've been thinking about. Anybody ever use that system?
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:36 AM
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...BTW...I also like the idea of mounting under the bed. I looked under there and I got room for a 40gallon water heater if I wanted!!! Damn long-bed crew-cabs! LOL
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboCoastie View Post
P-rot, you're going to have a pretty awesome system. Sounds like you'll be into it for over $350. That's what I'm trying to avoid. Love the idea of using welding cable instead of automotive for the savings though. I'll definitely be using that!

The only thing I'd have to buy with my set up is the Air Compressor and the wire.

How good are the Air Compressors for Air Brakes like from a school bus or something like that? I think those are mechanically driven by the engine, but I could swap in a DC electric motor on a pressure cut-on/cut-off switch.

That's also something I've been thinking about. Anybody ever use that system?
Yes, great idea on the welding cable for sure. I believe there's a kit out there where you can mount a compressor on a 7three engine.....not cost effective in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboCoastie View Post
...BTW...I also like the idea of mounting under the bed. I looked under there and I got room for a 40gallon water heater if I wanted!!! Damn long-bed crew-cabs! LOL
For sure......the 02 I used to have I had both the compressor and tank mounted under the bed on driver side. Just make sure you get a good ground strap cause the bed doesn't work to well as a ground. Lesson learned there!
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:52 AM
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Here's a couple pics of what I'm doing so far. The bracket mounts to existing holes where the spare would normally be and I removed the spare tire holder. The tank is also mounted to 2 existing holes and 2 holes I had to drill.

These pics are of my fitment checks and they've been removed for powdercoating now.
Attached Thumbnails
On-Board Air...On a Budget?-bracket-1.jpg   On-Board Air...On a Budget?-bracket-2.jpg   On-Board Air...On a Budget?-bracket-3.jpg   On-Board Air...On a Budget?-air-tank-2.jpg   On-Board Air...On a Budget?-air-tank-1.jpg  

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Old 11-03-2013, 05:55 AM
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Yea ill def be over $350!! Lol. I'm trying to keep it around $500.

I've never driven a school bus but I have driven the cab and chassis of one, with a slightly different build up on back....hoses, 750 gal water, 1250gpm pump, and a few cool tools. But they work great! I was just looking at the air compressor on the engine and it is an external mount one kind of like the York compressors, it might even be York for all I know. But we can run just about what ever off them. Fill tires, blow out the cab, blow ourselves off what ever we have needed so far. I think though that by the time you fab a bracket and pully system and everything else you'll be over your $350 mark. There are a bunch of posts on here about the York compressor set up or that style at least and they are pretty big in the off road world.

If you mounted a 40gal water heater under your truck you'd be the talk of the town! I'd love to see that!!!!!
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